Last weekend’s defeat to Boroughmuir derailed a five-game winning streak and ended Hawick’s pursuit of a BT Premiership play-off place.
However, their quest for a first Border League crown since 2006 remains alive. Boroughmuir’s 32-25 victory at Meggetland ended any hopes the Greens had of challenging for a first league title since 2002, bringing the Robbie Dyes crashing back to earth after their BT Cup semi-final heroics but there still remains the possibility of a Border League and Cup double.
Hawick, who have won the Border League title a record 48 times, sit undefeated at the summit of the standings, with only the usual contenders, Gala and Melrose, still within striking distance.
All the Greens must do is secure victory against Peebles this evening at Mansfield Park and against Gala when the final round of fixtures are announced and a 49th title is theirs.
Greens vice-captain, Bruce McNeil, however, admits despite the relative simplicity of the task at hand for Hawick to lift a first title in almost a decade, he is not taking tonight’s challenge lightly and is expecting a tough battle against a Peebles side who will be out to end their season on a high.
“It would be massive for the club to finally pick up some silverware, but it is not going to be simple,” said McNeil, whose only title in his 11-year playing career with the club was the 2006 Border League.
“As a player you want to be picking up silverware every week. Everyone in the club is desperate to win after the season we have had, but it won’t be easy as Peebles will be a tough unit to break.
“I don’t know what it is, but Border clubs just never seem to quit. Peebles are a division below us but they will still not be a walkover. Kelso proved in the Cup quarter-finals against us that any Border team from any division can beat anyone. Peebles are no mugs and we are going to have to be prepared for a hard battle or all these possible Cup dreams will come crashing down.”
McNeil concluded: “There is a long history of winning at Hawick. All the boys are itching to end the season with a couple of titles but it all starts against Peebles and if we can beat them then it builds positive momentum going into our final two games.”